Liberty Village has a long vibrant history ranging from manufacturing to even housing several prisons.
Yes, that's correct; did you know from the early 1870's and lasting about a century, there were two major prisons located in liberty village; a women's mental institute and a men's prison. Most of the buildings were destroyed by the early twentieth century but there are still two buildings that remain: the original prison chapel and a small abandoned structure that has begun restoration. In fact the name "Liberty Village" emerged because once released, men and women would walk down Liberty Street and be free!
Manufacturers began moving to the area around 1880 and Liberty Village quickly became a factory centre, producing mainly machines for grist and flower mills. By the early twentieth century it was known as a major manufacturing region of the city. Beginning around 1908, the majority of manufacturing was related to marine steam engines and waterworks pumping engines. Over the years, the area's dominant manufacturing focus continued to change. A lot of the factories began relocating further west into Mississauga, and around the early 1980's the area become a somewhat of an abandoned wasteland which lead to low property costs. This attracted many artists to the area, and their creative influence helped to shape Liberty Village to what it is today.
Today the area has been developed into a unique, industrial neighborhood that incorporates convenience, work, play, restaurants, shops and entertainment. The history of the area is still present as many buildings and many old factories have been transformed into modern lofts, galleries, businesses and cafes. The mix of modern-industrial, residential and commercial spaces make it a great place to live. The area not only offers ample public parking lots, but also has 24 hour King Streetcar access for easy access to all parts of the city. Most notably, downtown Toronto, the entertainment district, and great shopping such as Queen St. W.
Liberty Village is one of the fastest developing areas of Toronto right now, but it feels almost like its own little city.